Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Melky Cabrera blasted a tiebreaking two-run shot in the eighth to carry the Toronto Blue Jays to a 2-0 victory over the New York Mets Saturday at Olympic Stadium.
Cabrera sent 50,299 fans into frenzy when he hit a long ball off Adam Kolarek with a man on third base and two outs in the eighth as the Blue Jays improved to 16-13.
This weekend’s exhibitions between the Mets and Jays brought a total of 96,350 fans to Montreal for the first professional baseball games here in nearly a decade.
Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow was unhittable in his final spring tuneup, striking out eight over 5 2/3 shutout innings. The right-hander walked two and allowed two hits.
Daisuke Matsuzaka delivered a standout performance for the Mets, striking out eight Blue Jays over five shutout innings, but he failed to get the nod for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.
After the game, the Mets reassigned Matsuzaka to Triple-A Las Vegas and named Jenrry Mejia their fifth starter.
Though Matsuzaka appeared to have done enough Saturday to win the Mets’ fifth-starter job outright, lowering his spring ERA to 3.04, the competition was more complicated than a typical roster battle.
Jon Niese’s elbow injury recently forced the Mets to make contingency plans — Mejia making the team instead of Matsuzaka in order to increase roster flexibility.
Mejia is battling both a bunion on his right foot and a right forearm bruise. The Mets need Mejia to pitch their fourth game of the season on April 4, then must hope Niese is healthy enough to start on April 6.
R.A. Dickey will make his second consecutive Opening Day start when the Blue Jays begin their season against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay will counter with left-hander David Price.